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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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The scene in the village on the final day of the An Tostal festival when the celebrations were brought to a close with a parade, cross-roads dancing and ceremonial lowering of the Tostal flag. An Tostal was a series of festivals throughout the country celebrating Irish life, inaugurated in 1953 and continuing for the next five years.

1918

Influenza epidemic

The influenza epidemic continues to prevail with unabated virulence in the county, and from various parts, reports of deaths are still being made. In the city, several families are stricken, but, fortunately, no fatal results have occurred since last week.

Of the institutions, St. Mary’s College is the worst sufferer, many of the students being confined to bed, while a number who escaped the disease returned to their homes.

During the week, all the schools in the city were closed, and the theatres have been put out of bounds for military and naval men. The Urban Council decided on Thursday to have the theatres closed for the present.

The Technical Institute has closed down till Monday. Dr. Sandys has resumed work after a week’s illness. Mr. George Duffy, draper, Dominick-st., contracted the disease this week, and his establishment was closed.

The influenza epidemic has been very virulent in Tuam, and there are ten houses in which some of the inmates have not come “down” with the disease. Last weekend, it took a sever grip on the town and the number of sufferers has increased rapidly.

Three shop assistants have fallen victim to the malady. Michael Mullens, whose death was reported last week, was from Ballindine. Thomas Ward, of Clonberne, was removed to his home, where he succumbed on Tuesday. The third victim is Matthew Donnellan, who developed double pneumonia following the disease, and died in Tuam hospital on Tuesday night.

They were extremely popular young men, favourites with their companions, and their early deaths are deeply deplored.

Members of the police force, the post office staff, and bank officials are amongst those laid up. The accommodation in the hospital is taxed to its utmost, and the patients are receiving the greatest care and attention from the doctor, nurses and sisters.

The disease has also spread to Ballyglunin and Turloughmore districts. In the latter place it has been particularly severe, and several deaths have taken place. A young man named Treacy has died near Ballyglunin as a result of it.

1943

Hospital scandal

The condition of affairs in the Galway Central Hospital from the point of view of the treatment of disease was referred to by Mr. M. Donnellan, Leader of Clann na Talmhan, in the Dáil. He said the conditions were a positive disgrace; they were so bad they might be endured only with reluctance and apology as a temporary arrangement if they had been imposed under some scheme of emergency arising out of conditions imposed by actual war or some violent eruption.

The medical and nursing staffs were excellent, but how they managed to do their work and carry on under the conditions imposed by the Minister and his representatives he did not know. The hospital conditions were grossly unjust to the staff and when they were unjust to the staff, they were unjust to the patients.

The whole problem was due to overcrowding, because of the absence of suitable alternative accommodation to relieve pressure on the hospital. It was a monstrous thing to have medical, surgical and tubercular patients mixed in the same hospital; it was unfair to all classes of patients and it was difficult to say who suffered the greatest injustice.

The people of Co. Galway could not understand why that condition of affairs should be allowed to exist. It was not a question of no additional accommodation being available. It would not be easy to find worse or less suitable accommodation for tubercular patients that the Central hospital offered, but the County Council always had been opposed by the Department in its desire to provide better treatment for tubercular patients.

In all decency, he said it was a matter of urgency that a suitable sanatorium should be provided for the treatment of tuberculosis and in the meantime, accommodation of a temporary kind suitable for patients should be found.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Runners pass the Maxol Garage during the Turloughmore Road Races on June 18, 1981.

1921

Ambush thwarted

Our North Galway correspondent writes: A report was widely circulated on Friday that an ambush party had collected at Gortaleam, a district midway between Dunmore and Glenamaddy.

Two accounts are given of how the report was made, one being that an aeroplane which happened to cross over that part of the country on Friday “spotted” the supposed ambushers and conveyed the intelligence to Galway that groups of men were observed collecting.

The other account, and the one which receives semi-official confirmation, says that an eye-witness of the ambush preparations conveyed the information to a party of police or to Dunmore.

On Saturday morning, forces of auxiliary police and military converged on the scene. It was learned subsequently that no traces of the reported ambushers were to be seen. No walls were knocked, and the roads in the district were not tampered with, although authorities suggest there is no doubt from the fact that the ground was trampled in the vicinity and that other evidences have come under their notice that an ambush was in course of preparation.

Gortaleam is a bleak, open district, and one could not be impressed with the place as being a likely selection for an ambush, although it is suggested the hilly district offered a clear view of the approach along the road and ample cover for retreat.

At a bend in the road stands Gortaleam national school, and a high hill rises up at the back, commanding a view of the surrounding country for a considerable distance. There is an old ruin on the other side of the road opposite the school. It was reported that “the school children were kept locked in by armed men,” but the teacher in charge, when interviewed, declined to make any statement about the matter.

Crown forces searched extensively through the neighbouring district on Saturday. Ever since Dunmore, Glenamaddy, Clonberne, Williamstown, and Kilkerrin have been visited by auxiliaries who searched and interrogated every man they came across. On Sunday, the people leaving the chapels in some of these places were surrounded and terrified.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Teatime on the Morrissey Farm in Clonshee, Ahascragh in June 1951. Pictured beside the mowing machine and horses Charlie and Bly is John Morrissey with six of his 12 children, Joseph, Seán, Eileen, Michael, Annie and Willie.

1921

Growing neglect

The meeting of the County Galway National Teachers’ Association merits the attention of a considerably wider body than that which may be said to have a professional interest in education.

These meetings, which are held primarily for purposes of organisation, have an absorbing interest and a vital concern for all who desire the future well-being of our young people.

Whilst conditions of employment must naturally be an important concern for primary teachers, Saturday’s meeting revealed the fact that their minds are exercised by the deplorable and growing neglect of primary education.

The statement of the outgoing chairman that out of seven hundred thousand school-going children, there are two hundred thousand absentees from the national schools every day; this compels immediate attention and demands effective action on the part of all whose duty it is to enforce attendance at school.

That means that nearly one-third of the pupils are absent from school daily. There could be no graver reflection on the parent, the public bodies and their school attendance committees and the spiritual directors than that thirty out of every one hundred pupils are absent from the schools every day.

“Do the people,” as the chairman asked, “realise the havoc such a state of things works amongst us as a nation? Is it any wonder that so many of our countrymen and countrywomen are condemned to a life of drudgery, bordering upon a condition of slavery, at home and abroad.”

In recent years we have heard much of the attractiveness of school programmes, but the obvious inference from this lamentable disclosure would appear to be that children dislike that “dry drudgery at the desk’s dead wood,” or that they are neither encouraged nor compelled by their parents or guides to thread the path of learning.

Whatever the cause, the fact is a national scandal.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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on

Flooding in front of the Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum on November 11, 1977.

1921

What the public wants

Apart from the fact that to permit young children to remain up late in the heavy atmosphere of a picture theatre is detrimental to their health, there can be little objection to children seeing pictures – provided always they are the right kind of picture.

Recently, we have had a surplus of war propaganda pictures. The world is heartily sick of the game of killing and all its hideous trappings. We want to turn the young minds to the victories of peace, to the ways of high endeavour and moral greatness, to replace sordid meanness and intrigue with sterling honour and openness of the soul.

Stories of the crude justice of the Wild West are scarcely calculated to do this, any more than the hectic and neurotic ethical standard set up in silly serials may be supposed to direct the young idea along the paths that are best in life.

And we want happy, healthy laughter. The comedy pictures are perhaps the least objectionable. Bud Fisher stands alone, perhaps, in the great work he has done for humanity. But why should not filmmakers and scenario writers gather more from the old classical novels and the best stories from modern writers, from all that is noble and of good report, and less from the ugly things in life?

We suppose, as in the case of the yellow Press, so long as war and tragedy are “good selling lines” the film producers will “play them up”. In other words, they will give the public what it wants and therefore, what it deserves.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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